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REVIEW: Devonshire by Lynne Martin (aka Lynne Connolly)

“A wedding… or a funeral?

Rose Golighty and Lord Richard Strang anticipate their long-awaited wedding. But dark whispers reach Richard’s ears of smugglers threatening the county’s peace. Events escalate until Rose’s life is threatened. Richard knows he must act to save her and her friends from disaster. Even if his bride has to trade her wedding gown for widow’s weeds.”

Dear Mrs. Connolly,

MVC-016F_small.jpgYou’ve given us a strong sequel to your first book in this series, Yorkshire, which follows the on going romance between Richard Kerre, Lord Strang and his love, Miss Rose Golightly. We watched these two fall in love at first sight in Yorkshire and now, six
months later, they are counting down the last weeks until their marriage.

We get to see Rose triumph at the Exeter Assembly when she arrives with her beloved (and very handsome) fiance. Shy Rose had suffered many an evening there passed over by the young men and it was a joy to see her blossom. We see the county gentry being convinced by the obvious love between the two that this is no rash marriage and that Rose really has gained the heart of this notorious lord. We see the dark side of the rampant smuggling that was commonplace in the seaside counties of England during the 18th century. And we get an ending that was one of the most viscerally satisfying that I’ve read in a long time.

I will warn possible readers that some unsettling things happen to Rose during parts of this story. And that she and Richard do take their revenge and see to justice, even if it isn’t totally within the law.

I’m not sure if you had got into your writing stride in your second R&R book or if I just got used to your style. You do have one slightly off putting habit of sometimes having two people speak within the same paragraph. And Novelbooks still needed a little more editing and better type setting but that’s water over the dam with them.

But this is a darn good story. You’ve done your research and I felt I was in the 18th century. The characters don’t act like transplanted 21st century people. Richard has a habit of glacial aristocratic hauteur that can depress the most forward social mushrooms. There is no sign of hobnobbing with the servants and everyone knows his place in society. It’s a fascinating world to look in on but one that has its moments of unease for a 21st century reader. Brava for that.

One thing that does get slightly repetitious is Rose’s frequent wondering if Richard will stay faithful and how she managed to win his love. I guess after 25 years of being the plainer sister she is entitled to her doubts and she does gain in self confidence but (to give some slight spoilers) I’m glad the wedding convinced her and she dropped that line of thought.

Their story is continued in Venice, the third novel which should rereleased later this year This one is a B for me and I look forward to the new ones in the series.

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

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